Rebels Men Secure their National Cup Final Spot
On the 25th of march, Essex Rebels faced up against IBB Polonia in the National Cup semi–final. The atmosphere we had for the game was amazing, all seating was out, and all seats were filled, on top of that the crowd and the Essex Rebels squad was bouncing off each other and sharing the energy. The set started well for the Rebels and took an early lead. Both teams made a cluster of errors which brought the score level. Polonia managed to eke out the two-point lead and took the set at 25:23.
The Rebels took the fighting spirit from the first set and continued to provide the energy on the court and the crowd joined in to add to the energy, which was amazing to see. Within the second set, the Rebels were a lot more focused and consistent with their play. The defensive hustle from the Rebels proved how much they wanted to win. After a long battle the Rebels prevailed and showed Polonia they were in for a long game, the set score ended 25:16 to the Essex Rebels.
The fired-up Rebels knew Polonia would come back out fighting. The Essex Rebels knew what they had to do to win, which was to maintain focus, make smart attacking decisions and line up their block correctly. Offensively both Christian Christie and Thomas Shatimehin were on fire through the pins. As well as that we saw Duncan McDonald return from injury as well as the continuation of the mighty Thomas Jefferson. The drive and hustle from the Essex Rebels were unmatched in the third set and the Essex rebels won 25:18
Finally in the fourth set the Essex Rebels kept their focus, drive and their consistent blocking presence which was putting pressure on the Polonia team to perform. The consistent setting and blocking presence from Euan Fraser was a spectacle to watch. Polonia began to fight back but the Rebels libero Lefteris Ioannou was sweeping the backline. Once again, the Essex Rebels showed Polonia that they were in control and in charge of the game by finishing the final set 25:21 to the Essex Rebels. The win put the Essex Rebels in their first-ever National Cup final against Malory UEL Eagles which takes place at the National Volleyball Centre on 22nd April.
MVP: Thomas Jefferson